Miranda Lambert, songwriter and longtime guitarist Scotty Wray dies
From the very beginning of Miranda Lambert’s career, when she was just 17, guitarist, songwriter and solo performer Scotty Wray had been by her side on stage and contributing songs in the studio. Scotty Wray also happens to be the brother of country artist Collin Raye. Now both musical families are in mourning as it was confirmed that Scotty Wray passed away on Friday, February 18, 2022. Wray had battled heart issues for the past few years which kept him off the road.
When Miranda Lambert started, she didn’t have a full band. It was just her and Scotty Wray with acoustic guitars, hitting any spot that would have them in Texas, from Dallas, Houston and Austin, with Miranda singing her songs and Scotty backing her. As things started to explode and band members were added, Scotty Wray remained as bandleader, always with his guitar, acting as the constant and the anchor in the sometimes tumultuous universe of Miranda Lambert.
Scotty Wray also co-wrote several songs with Miranda, including “I Wanna Die” on his first major label record. Kerosene from 2005, “Easy Living” from his 2011 album Four the recordand “Gravity Is a Bitch” from Miranda’s 2014 album Platinum. Wray also wrote the song “Scars” which Miranda Lambert has performed live over the years, and became the title track for Collin Raye’s 2020 album. Scotty Wray has also contributed other songs to his brother’s albums over the years, including those from 1998. The walls have fallenand the 2000s Love songs.
As close as Scotty Wray and Collin Raye were like trouble, Miranda and Scotty were like brother and sister, getting matching arrows tattooed on the outside of their palms to codify their musical collaboration and lifelong friendship. Miranda posted a photo of the two showing off the tattoos on Saturday night while remembering Wray.
“Last night I lost one of my most treasured friends, bandmates and family members on the road,” said Miranda Lambert. “We met in 2001 in Greenville, Texas. I was 17. It was the start of our journey together. We’ve been through so much life together on and off the stage. We’ve written songs, played gig after gig, we fought, cried, laughed and even got matching arrow tattoos after overcoming tough times together.
Lambert continues, “He was one of the most talented guitarists I’ve ever known and I’m so grateful to have been able to witness his laid-back, genius bluesman style on stages around the world for over 20 years. He Was the one I could count on. Always. No matter what. If he was there on my right side, I felt like I could take on the world. Scotty Wray was my family and I’ll never sing a note. without him because I know he’s here with me. He always has been. Love you my sweet Bud Wray. Heaven is lucky because this honky tonk band just won another angel from the guitar. Rest my love.
Scotty Wray believed in Miranda Lambert while others didn’t. So often, when you trace the success of country artists, there’s always someone by their side through thick and thin – their ultimate champion. For Willie Nelson, it was Paul English. For Waylon Jennings, it was Richie Albright. And for Miranda Lambert, it was Scotty Wray.